Theresa May has given an interview, which is not usually her way, but if the Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot magazine asks one doesn’t refuse (not if one is MP for Maidenhead, at any rate).
The answers vary from what look like the carefully-considered to the intriguingly spontaneous. The historical figure with which the Prime Minister most identifies is Elizabeth I, she is “a Vicar’s daughter and still a practising member of the Church of England”, dislikes her nose, would die for freedom, likes “Pride and Prejudice”, and the happiest day of her life was her wedding day.
Her motto would be “Don’t let the bastards get you down” – and if I read experience of some of her senior Coalition colleagues into it that is doubtless a misinterpretation. Asked if she has ever said “I love you” without meaning it, she replies that “that’s a question no woman should answer”. As coincidence would have it, this site quoted Elizabeth I when May became Conservative leader (in effect) – though we had in mind the former’s response when told that Queen Mary was dead and that she would succeed her, not her better-known words to her troops when England was threatened by the Spanish Armada.
Cabinet meets at Chequers this week, the Commons returns next, there is a new Government to forward and Brexit to sort. We will return to all these later this week. But this Bank Holiday Monday seems not a bad moment to link to another interview with May – the one that Mark Fox and I conducted for this site five years ago when she had been Home Secretary for less than a year. She was asked five Quick Quiz Questions, and we reproduce the exchanges without further comment –
Books: Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” or Louise Bagshawe’s “Desire”?
Home Secretary: “I wouldn’t read either of them, sorry.”
Music. Vaughan Williams’s “The Lark Ascending or Madonna’s “True Blue”?
Home Secretary: “It’s probably Vaughan Williams – actually, yes.”
TV: The BBC’s “Upstairs, Downstairs” or Lizzie Cundy’s “WAGs World?”.
Home Secretary: “I have not watched WAGs World, I have not watched the BBC’s Upstairs, Downstairs, either. It would be Downton Abbey, I think.”
Night out: The Carlton Club or Stringfellows?
Home Secretary: “Oh come on! I’ve got, I’ve got” – laughter – “objections to Stringfellows as the Minister for Women and Equalities, and I’m afraid the Carlton Club, hmm. My night out would be with my husband, wherever he chose to take me.
Night in: Tiger-skin pumps or furry mule slippers?
Home Secretary: “Tiger-skin pumps.”